Adjusting Chet Atkins Bigsby Arm

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by fsdphcorrigan, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
  2. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    566
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    Yours is backwards. I think I have a pic of mine somewhere. Gimme a minute! Also you can ad a penny (American penny) or hardware stores have nylon washers that look the same as what goes in a bigsby to add a little extra height. It doesn’t take much
     
    MyGirlGretta likes this.
  3. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    566
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    upload_2019-12-28_14-22-8.jpeg

    Found it. I don’t have this guitar anymore. But the hump in the handle isn’t all the way to the right like how it looks. It’s actually down and to the right. That’s how to get maximum height on the handle. Hope this helps
     
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ...... sorry Patrick , just going for the laugh
     
  6. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I agree 1 or 2 pennies should help you. As for the arm, you just need to loosen the set screw in the bracket and twist the arm til it sits as you like it, then tighten the screw back up.
     
  7. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    Thanks. A flat washer works for a temporary fix. The stock spring is 7/8", so I'm ordering a 1" spring to replace it.
     
    Lockupyourfatdog likes this.
  8. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    Here's the guitar after shimming the spring and readjusting the arm:

    Bigsby2.jpg
     
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  9. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    If that still comes up short there’s a 1 1/8” size as well.
     
  10. Charles Conner

    Charles Conner Gretschie

    Age:
    78
    250
    May 19, 2016
    Maryland
    It looks to me like your handle will adjust still a little bit higher if you loosen the set screws and turn the handle CCW a little more (hump down more). I notice also; the Bigsby is shifted out of alignment (towards the right) of the guitar. You will notice when you remove the strings,when it's time to change them, that there is play (side to side) in the Bigsby hindge, and when you put strings on they pull the Bigsby out of alignment, toward the high string's side. The bass strings have greater tension. This can be corrected by loosening the mounting screws and putting a washer or shim under the left (bass side) of the mounting plate at the end of the guitar. This is not a defect in the construction of your instrument but a known common thing and there is more info here on GT that you can research.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    jay_mci likes this.
  11. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    I'll adjust the handle a bit when I get the new spring. As far as alignment goes, the low E string was not coming straight over the bar--it was shifted to the left. There still could be an alignment issue but so far it hasn't seemed to affect anything.
     
  12. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    Yes, I considered that, but based on the effect the 1/16" flat washer has had I suspect the 1" will do the trick. If not, I can still use the shim or order the 1-1/8" spring.

    Thanks.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  13. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Electromatic

    47
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    I just replaced the stock 7/8" spring with a 1" spring. After adding three thin brass shim washers the handle is about 1/2" above the high E string. I may order a 1-1/8" spring and change it out the next time I change strings, but for now it's good.
     
  14. breezecookie

    breezecookie Electromatic

    Age:
    54
    23
    Jun 27, 2010
    Shelby NC
    Believe it or not, I run my Chet arm "backwards" (as in the first photo in this thread). It's on a tele-style Creston, and while the "regular" way works best on a Gretsch, on my tele (laid out like a thinline) it is exactly in the way of the pickup selector and sits very low. I thought about switching to the longer spring, but trying it "backwards," the height sits just right (high, like I like it), and the bend fits my hand perfectly if I hit the end with my thumb and first- the bend just just tucks right into my middle, ring, and pinkie fingers. Weird, I know, but that's me all over!
     
  15. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I just added one to my work-in-progress 5128. I had one on my tele for a short while, and hated it. On this guitar it works great!
    9F3E28D4-475E-4A91-AACF-C6737E172251.jpeg
     
    anthony466 likes this.
  16. anthony466

    anthony466 Electromatic

    85
    Dec 13, 2019
    Italy
    Beautiful guitar... Now not too easy to find. Congrats

    Anthony
     
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  17. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Thanx! It’s gone thru some positive changes since that photo including a better bigsby handle.
    1057792D-5AFE-412C-A871-CB92EECE2552.jpeg
     
    anthony466 likes this.
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